Woman of the Century/Annie Louise Cary Raymond

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RAYMOND, Mrs. Annie Louise Cary, contralto singer, born in Wayne, Kennebec county, Me, 22nd October, 1842. Her parents were Dr. Nelson Howard Cary and Maria Stockbridge Cary. She was the youngest in a family of six children. She received a good common-school education in her native town, and finished with a course in the female seminary in Gorham, Me., where she was graduated in 1862. Her musical talents were shown in childhood, and at the age of fifteen years her promise was so marked that she was sent to Boston to study vocal music. She remained in Boston for six years, studying with Lyman W. Wheeler and singing in various churches. She went to Milan, Italy, in 1866, and studied with Giovanni Corsi until 1868. She then went to Copenhagen, where she made her debut in an Italian opera company. In the first months of 1868 she sang successfully in Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Christiania. During the summer of 1868 she studied in Baden-Baden with Madame Viardot-Garcia, and in the fall of that year she began an engagement in Italian opera in Stockholm, with Ferdinand Strakosch. After two months she was engaged to sing in the royal Swedish opera, and sang in Italian with a Swedish support. In the summer of 1869 she studied in Pans with Signor Bottesini, and in the autumn of that year she sang in Italian opera in Brussels. There she signed with Max and Maurice Strakosch for a three-year engagement in the United States. In the winter of 1869-70 she studied in Paris, and in the spring she sang in London, Eng., in the Drury Lane Theater. In 1870 she returned to the United States. She made her debut in Steinway Hall, New York City, in a concert, with Nilsson, Brignoli and Vieuxtemps. She then for several years sang frequently and with brilliant success in opera and concert, appearing with Carlotta Patti, Mario, Albani and others. In the winter of 1875-76 she sang in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and a year later she repeated her Russian tour. In the seasons of 1877-78 and 1878-79 she sang in the United States, in opera with Clara Louise Kellogg and Marie Roze. From 1880 to 1882 she sang in opera with the Mapleson company and in numerous concerts and festivals, including a tour in Sweden. She sang in the New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago and Worcester festivals, and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society. Her voice is a pure contralto, of remarkable strength, great range and exceeding sweetness. Her dramatic powers are of the highest order. Her professional life has been a series of successes from begining to end. She became the wife. 29th June, 1882, of Charles Monson Raymond, of New York City. Since her marriage she has never sung in public. Her only service in song has been in assisting her church choir and in charitable entertainments. She is ranked with the greatest contraltos of the century.